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Jamie Rentzel named 2017 District Teacher of the Year

The Norman Public School District tonight announced Jamie Rentzel, a math teacher at Norman High School, as the district’s 2017 Teacher of the Year. Rentzel began her teaching career 11 years ago in Norman and recently was awarded the Presidential Award of Excellence in Math and Science Teaching.

Rentzel, who is a National Board Certified teacher, was selected through a competitive process, coordinated by the district’s Staff Development Committee. After being selected as the Teacher of the Year for Norman High, she submitted a comprehensive portfolio, participated in various interviews and produced a video that showcased her teaching skills and philosophy. Other finalists were Ashley Dickinson from Lincoln Elementary and Shannon Mashburn from Truman Elementary. 

Rentzel knew she wanted to pursue teaching as a career when, as a high school junior, her friends began telling her she explained math concepts to them with such clarity they were finally able to understand their homework. Today, she leads Norman High’s Math Department, serves on the district’s Math Advisory Board and also was selected to participate in the state Department of Education’s process to re-examine new state math standards.

“Jamie is an incredible educator who is passionate about helping students achieve success,” said Dr. Joe Siano, superintendent of Norman Public Schools. “Her enthusiasm is infectious and students thrive in her classes. Like many of our professional educators, Jamie goes above and beyond for our students and her commitment to student success is clear. She is a tremendous asset for our district.”

Rentzel’s teaching philosophy centers around self-reflection. After each lesson, she evaluates how it went and makes intentional adjustments for continuous improvement. She also strives to ensure her students have fun, laugh and enjoy themselves in the classroom so they can be engaged in the learning process. Rentzel also is an active member of the Norman community and provides service through her local church.

The Norman Public School District’s Celebration of Excellence event is made through contributions from sponsors such as Republic Bank & Trust, ADG, AIP, MA + and BancFirst. The Teacher of the Year and finalists also are beneficiaries of prizes donated by many generous sponsors, which include Josie Armstrong, Arvest Bank, Copelin's Office Supply, Ideal Homes, Tom Jackson Photography, Legends Restaurant, Lierman Graduate Services (Jostens), Mitchell's Jewelry, Montford Inn, NPS Foundation, NPS Staff Development Committee, Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Steve Owens & Associates, Republic Bank & Trust, Riverwind Casino, Sooner Mall, The Health Club, United Way of Norman and Bob Usry & Sons.